Our new small group programme ‘RESET 2022, this time it’s personal’ which begins 1 May to 30 Sept 2022 is based on the ethos that the areas in life where we experience the greatest difficulty is where our greatest capacity and purpose will be found. This blog post explores why that would be.
Out of the darkness
There is an adage in yoga that the pose we find most awkward and inaccessible in our first class will ultimately become our favourite pose.
We see this elsewhere.
The people we dislike on first meeting can become the people we love and admire the most. The tasks we avoid at all cost can become the areas where we find the greatest freedom. The aspects of our lives and personalities that we are ashamed of or try to hide or deny can become our life’s celebration. The things we find most difficult and confronting can become a surprising source of fascination and pleasure.
These areas of life where we feel lacking, incapable or threatened are always the areas to hang out in, to see what is there to be seen, feel what is there to be felt, allow to fall away what is there to fall away.
These are our greatest gifts. It is these areas in which the lived experience, the on-going belief is as far as possible from what is really true. It is where the resistance, whether physical, mental or emotional is indicating a depth of freedom to be discovered.
It’s almost impossible to imagine in the moment of resistance though, isn’t it? In the moment of comparison, or self-hate or shame, all we want to do is escape, run, hide, give up.
But when we stay with it, explore what is in the way – whether it is practical, physiological, psychological, intellectual or emotional – we come into reality. There is revelation upon revelation of the body, the mind, the conditioning, about associations and meanings, about the view of ourselves and others.
Why is it that these areas of difficulty and resistance represent our greatest capacity and purpose? Let’s start with three wonderful reasons:
Freedom – there is a video from a chimpanzee sanctuary of chimps who had been held for over 30 years in captivity for medical research being released into nature for the first time. It is impossible to watch the scenes of them hugging each other, dancing and exploring without being deeply moved. A mind trapped in a lifetime of fighting its own limited view of itself and then released into sanity, reality, presence is our mental equivalent of this freedom. It is right, resonates deep with our essential being, we know it is our nature. To know freedom and alignment through their opposites is to have the most profound experience of truth.
Authentic voice – when we have lived through limitation and suffering and emerge through it to an understanding of what it really is, our voice changes. From within the suffering, our voice is anger, protest, blame and resistance. Reality is our fears, shames, needs and insecurities made manifest. And as we battle within that world, our life is an on-going struggle. Sometimes it looks like the only way we can get rid of the nightmares is by helping other people resolve what we have been unable to resolve for ourselves. And all this does is keep ourselves as well as those we are trying to help in a confused fight with a projected reality. Through presence to our own behaviour and conditioning and the emerging of ultimate accountability, this voice transforms, the projection disappears. Now we reach people through a deep resonance with the suffering they are enduring and a life which is now testimony to the truth of what they are. Perhaps for the first time, our words can be heard.
Energy – on-going unconscious reaction, on-going battles to secure the self, on-going fights with a reality that is only ever a projection of our inner-most shame, insecurity and fears is absolutely exhausting. It takes all the energy, attention and resources. In other words, the areas that are most difficult and challenging for us take all the focus. Of course they do. They are gripping and life-and-death important. But through presence and accountability, this un-winnable, futile, debilitating battle ceases. And now, just as when, in yoga we constrict then release a part of the body, that released area of our life is filled with fresh energy, fresh oxygen, fresh potential. There is a vitality which might not have been experienced since childhood.
And all of this is not in spite of, but because of the restriction. The difficulty itself is the gateway to a greater understanding and capacity, to a different, clearer, more open version of self and reality. Life continually provides these areas of discovery because they are a direct manifestation of the inside appearing outside.
Hang out in the resistance, the fear, the shame, the insecurity.
They will reveal more freedom, peace and capacity than we could ever imagine.
If you are interested in finding out more about RESET 2022, please email Clare.